More local residents

The bass Alpenhorn player of our garden is the Greater Coucal. My book says the call is “poomp, poomp, poomp” (presumably in a Yorkshire accent) but I think it is really the warming up exercises of the ultra-long-horn blower. I find it quite soothing, infinitely preferable to yodelling. Think Frank Ifield – “I remember yoooo-ooooh!” Or “poomp poomp poomp”. Now which would you prefer? I watched recently one of the GCs sitting atop of a bush exercising his oompah-box. He dipped his head, fluffed out his throat feathers and let rip.  An answering call came from nearby. I know the coucals nest in the scrub below the garden. Here he is.

Greater Coucal Greater Coucal

Two much smaller visitors that refuse to pose properly are the Fork-tailed Sunbird and the Japanese White-eye. They give you a second at most to focus before their nervousness gets the better of them and they move on. On a scale of 1 to 10 for cooperation these would be somewhere around a 3 or a 4. And they keep their distance too. We have a perfectly decent garden behind the house. I planted a Firecracker vine to entice them in – close proximity photography. I could sit in the dining room with my feet up on the dog waiting for the guests to arrive. They could work their way along the vine, turn, smile into the camera and then perhaps enjoy the birdbath before moving on. No extra charge. But no. These chaps prefer the plants in the communal garden across the road. Close. But when the target is 3.5″-4.5″ you need them within spitting distance although, if challenged in court, I shall deny ever having spat at a White-eye. So even with the 800mm bazooka they are tiny in the frame. The evidence is clear. And I’m not giving any hints as to which is the White-eye.

Fork-tailed Sunbird Japanese White-eye

It has rained all day today so I have not taken a single photograph. Tomorrow is heading for the same. I am sure though, that if I open the window I shall hear the sound of one of Heidi’s friends belting out a few poomps. Or maybe it will just be Rolf Harris hiding in the bushes, armed with his giant didgeridoo and wobble board, waiting to belt out Sun Arise……….. If he is waiting for sun here, he could be in for a long wait. I never checked to see if he did a B side, A hard rain’s gonna fall.



18 thoughts on “More local residents

  1. Great post. Not the yodeller. Not the yodeller please.
    The clarity and detail on the tiny distant guys is remarkable. I think I figured out which was the white eye.

  2. I used to love hearing “I remember you” warbling on the radio as a kid, Andrew.
    A bunch of fine images…kind of hard to hide ol’ white-eye.
    You are a pretty humorous guy. Did you ever consider the stage? There’s one leaving in fifteen minute. Badadabump! 🙂

  3. Frank Ifield for me.Not Rolf Harris. And what’s with this sudden ‘ancient Oz singers’ bit, eh ? [grin]
    Bloody terrific shots, Andrew ! The oompah-poompah is a handsome animal; but the two teeny-weenies in the bougainvillea have my heart, no matter how uncooperative they may be !

  4. We had greater coucals in our garden in India. I used to laugh at them, as they seemed so clumsy, galumphing around in the trees. Yours must be more nimble, able to reach the top branches.

    • They do galumph, don’t they. But they can glide quite well. They predate the nests of the smaller birds so they are not very popular with me. Thanks for commenting, Karolyn.

  5. In the morning I have a chorus of pigeons to wake me up, I would saw that for the basssounds. Those small birds look great, maybe you need to bait them and set yourself up in a hide, then again it could be a waster day sat looking at a tree, abit like fishing (IMHO).

  6. Excellent photos and blog. I’d be hopeless photographing those quick tiny birds with an 800mm.

I'd be delighted to hear what you think

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s